Here's how director Sam Peckinpah described his motivation behind The Wild Bunch at the time of the film's 1969 release: "I was trying to tell a simple story about bad men in changing times. The Wild Bunch is simply what happens when killers go to Mexico. The strange thing is you feel a great sense of loss when these killers reach the end of the line." All of these statements are true, but they don't begin to cover the impact that Peckinpah's film had on the evolution of American movies. Now the film is most widely recognized as a milestone event in the escalation of screen violence, but that's a label of limited perspective. Of course, Peckinpah's bloody climactic gunfight became a masterfully directed, photographed, and edited ballet of graphic violence that transcended the conventional Western and moved into a slow-motion realm of pure cinematic intensity. But the film--surely one of the greatest Westerns ever made--is also a richly thematic tale of, as Peckinpah said, "bad men in changing times." The year is 1913 and the fading band of thieves known as the Wild Bunch (led by William Holden as Pike) decide to pull one last job before retirement. But an ambush foils their plans, and Peckinpah's film becomes an epic yet intimate tale of betrayed loyalties, tenacious rivalry, and the bunch's dogged determination to maintain their fading code of honor among thieves. The 144-minute director's cut enhances the theme of male bonding that recurs in many of Peckinpah's films, restoring deleted scenes to deepen the viewer's understanding of the friendship turned rivalry between Pike and his former friend Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan), who now leads a posse in pursuit of the bunch, a dimension that adds resonance to an already classic American film. The Wild Bunch is a masterpiece that should not be defined strictly in terms of its violence, but as a story of mythic proportion, brimming with rich characters and dialogue and the bittersweet irony of outlaw traditions on the wane. --Jeff Shannon
A terrific film noir full of skewed camera angles and mysterious whose-shoes-are-those shots, Kiss Me Deadly is about as dark and exciting as noir gets. A young woman (Cloris Leachman) in bare feet and a trench coat throws herself into the traffic to flag down help and the car she stops belongs to detective Mike Hammer. Not even 15 minutes into the film and there's already been a murder, a mysterious letter, an attempt to kill Hammer and, of course, a warning to stay out of it. Hammer, tired of lowlife divorce cases, smells something big and can't let it go. Mike Hammer is a detective so cool he can win a fight with nothing more than a box of popcorn as a weapon; he knows his opera singers as well as his amateur prize-fighters and he makes the ladies swoon--but he's far from a conventional hero. In fact, he's emphatically not a nice guy; Hammer happily whores out his secretary-girlfriend Velma to cinch up those divorce cases and has a penchant for slamming other people's fingers in drawers. Even the bad guys know he's a sleazebag ("What's it worth to you to turn your considerable talents back to the gutter you crawled out of?"). Ralph Meeker plays Hammer's ambivalence brilliantly, swinging easily between sexy and just plain mean. --Ali Davis
Lulu Belle (1948)
Giant (1956): George Stevens' sweeping Oscar-winning epic about the cataclysmic effect the discovery of oil in Texas has on the lifestyle of the former cattle barons. Dean is Jett Rink a sullen-farm hand who becomes a millionaire overnight. Tough always angry restless bewildered and reckless Rink's animal charm and tycoon's magnetism means he always gets his way. But when he fails in love with Leslie he loses his way with an equal violence... East Of Eden (1955): J
Collection of three classic James Dean films. In 'East of Eden' (1955) two brothers compete for the love of their stern, overbearing, widowed father. However, when Cal (Dean), the rejected 'rebel' son, discovers that his mother is not dead but running a nearby brothel he tells his brother Aron (Richard Davalos). This leads to the destruction of not only his relationship with Aron but also his father. 'Giant' (1956) is an epic saga which begins when Texas cattle baron Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) takes a non-Texan wife, Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor). The story then traces two generations of his family, alongside the life of disreputable ranch-hand Jett Rink (Dean), who strikes it rich on an oil well and falls in love with Leslie. Director George Stevens won an Oscar for his work and the film garnered nine more nominations, including one for Dean, who was killed soon after filming. Finally, 'Rebel Without a Cause' (1955) takes place over a 24-hour period and follows Jim Stark (Dean), a restless teenager who is always in trouble with the law. When Jim is picked up for being drunk and disorderly he notices Judy (Natalie Wood) at the police station and determines to ask her on a date at high school the next day, which leads him into conflict with her boyfriend Buzz (Corey Allen).
Robert Mitchum stars in this classic 1950s Western based on Tom Lea's novel. When injured mercenary Martin Brady (Mitchum), under the employ of notorious smugglers the Castro brothers (Victor Mendoza and Pedro Armendariz), loses a shipment of rifles and ammunition, he is taken in by U.S. Army Major Colton (Gary Merrill), who uses Brady's expertise to gain control over the hostile Apaches in Mexico. As he begins to fall for Colton's wife Helen (Julie London), Brady has a big decision to make: go back to Mexico and face the Castro brothers or fight Colton for Helen's hand. The cast also includes Albert Dekker, Jack Oakie and Charles McGraw.
It was one of the strangest days of his life... On a train to New York Psychiatrist 'Hunt' Bailey (George Brent) becomes acquainted with an old lady called 'Cissie' Bederaux (Olive Blakeney). She tells him about her strange family about her volatile brother Nick (Paul Lukas) and his beautiful but damaged young wife Allida (Hedy Lamarr). When he later learns that 'Cissie' has died mysteriously Hunt becomes curious about her family and sets out to meet them. Hunt is fascinated by Allida but Nick warns him that she is losing her mind and that he fears for her safety. But is Nick all that he seems? As Hunt gets closer to Allida he realises she is in grave peril - and so is he...
Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn each received Oscar nominations for best actress in this gripping adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play filmed at Shepperton Studios by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Beautiful Catherine Holly (Taylor) is committed to a mental institution after witnessing the strange and horrible death of her cousin. Catherine's aunt Violet Venable (Hepburn) tries to influence Dr Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) a young neurosurgeon to surgically end Cather
A bumper box set of classic films featuring 'The First Lady of Cinema' Katharine Hepburn! State Of The Union (Dir. Frank Capra 1948): The Flamboyant businessman Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is persuaded by his mistress the powerful publishing heiress Kay Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) to seek the Republican nomination in the forthcoming elections. Mary Matthews (Katharine Hepburn) joins her estranged husband to present a public portrait of a happy family for the voters
Two professional killers invade a small town and kill a gas station attendant ""the Swede "" who's expecting them. Insurance investigator Reardon pursues the case against the orders of his boss who considers it trivial. Weaving together threads of the Swede's life Reardon uncovers a complex tale of treachery and crime all linked with gorgeous mysterious Kitty Collins.
Bijou is a beautiful man-eating cabaret singer in the South Seas who travels from one island saloon to another - usually wreaking havoc on the female-starved clientele. Then she falls in love with dashing and unsuspecting Naval officer Dan Brent. As their romance blossoms Dan proposes marriage to Bijou. The Navy brass knowing Bijou's disreputable past try to convince her to reconsider marrying Dan to save his promising career.
An all new collection of some of the best Sci-fi B movies ever made. From Steve McQueen s gooey film debut in the The Blob , to the monster movies The Deadly Mantis , The Creature Walks Among Us , The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes and Reptilicus to the Sci-Fi adventures of The Man from Planet X , The Time Travelers, The Angry Red Planet and Doctor Cyclops . This 9 DVD set will transport you back to a diffferent time in film-making, where big ideas did not need big budgets.
The searing classic of paradise lost. The 24-year old idol-to-be James Dean plays Cal a wayward Salinas Valley youth who vies for the affection of his hardened father (Raymond Massey) with his favored brother Aron (Richard Davalos). Playing off the haunting sensitivity of Julie Harris Dean's performance earned one of the film's four Academy Award nominations. Among the movie's stellar performers Jo Van Fleet won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
A star-studded stage adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic play about hope failure family and ambition.
War Of The Wildcats (Dir. Albert S. Rogell 1943): A cowboy battles with an oil tycoon for drilling rights on Indian lands in Oklahoma during the oil boom days. In Old California (Dir. William McGann 1942): Tom Craig (John Wayne) is a recent arrival to Sacramento California where he is trying to set up his pharmacy. He unfortunately finds out that the town is owned by political boss Britt Dawson (Albert Dekker) who is getting protection money from the townspeople. The town boss meets his match when he tries to frame Craig with poisoned medicine but Craig is ready for a fight.
A 65-year-old printer hatches an elaborate scheme to avoid enforced retirement...
Director Elia Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck caused a sensation with ""the most spellbinding story ever put on celluloid"" (Hollywood Reporter) recipient of three Academy Awards including Best Picture. One of the first films to directly tackle racial prejudice this acclaimed adaptation of Laura Z. Hobson's bestseller stars Gregory Peck as a journalist assigned to write a series of articles on anti-semitism. Searching for an angle he finally decides to pose as a Jew - and soon
A bumper box set of classic films featuring 'The First Lady of Cinema' Katharine Hepburn! State Of The Union (Dir. Frank Capra 1948): The Flamboyant businessman Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is persuaded by his mistress the powerful publishing heiress Kay Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) to seek the Republican nomination in the forthcoming elections. Mary Matthews (Katharine Hepburn) joins her estranged husband to present a public portrait of a happy family for the voters.
One of the most noteworthy pictures. - Los Angeles Times Director Elia Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck caused a sensation with the most spellbinding story ever put on celluloid (Hollywood Reporter) recipient of three Academy Awards including Best Picture. One of the first films to directly tackle racial prejudice this acclaimed adaptation of Laura Z. Hobson's bestseller stars Gregory Peck as a journalist assigned to write a series of articles on anti-Semitism. Searching for an angle he finally decides to pose as a Jew - and soon discovers what it is like to be a victim of religious intolerance. Dorothy McGuire John Garfield Dean Stockwell and June Havoc also star in this post-World War II classic .
An elite covert operations unit known as the Impossible Mission Taskforce (IMF) carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure capture or death. Their mission should they choose to accept it is given by the unseen figure known only as the 'Secretary' who instructions are relaid on a tape guaranteed to self-destruct in five seconds... Episodes Comprise: 1. Pilot episode 2. Memory 3. Operation Rogosh 4. Old Man Out (Part 1) 5. Old Man Out (Part 2) 6. Odds On Evil 7. Wheels 8. The Ransom 9. A Spool There Was 10. The Carriers 11. Zubrovnik's Ghost 12. Fakeout 13. Elena 14. The Short Tail Spy 15. The Legacy 16. The Reluctant Dragon 17. The Frame 18. The Trial 19. The Diamond 20. The Legend 21. Snowball In Hell 22. The Confession 23. Action! 24. The Train 25. Shock 26. A Cube Of Sugar 27. The Traitor 28. The Psychic
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